The Hashtag Gridiron: 2016 Edition

fifty-yard line on an american football field

Jenny Force Jenny Force, VP of Marketing

Super Bowl 50 was, of course, a battle on the field between the Broncos and the Panthers, but it was also a battle for brands trying to seize the advertising spotlight.

On a day in which brand advertisers shell out millions of dollars to produce and air advertisements – which hashtags associated with those ads performed the best on social media?

We used our Sysomos MAP social intelligence software to crunch the numbers and we offer the following infographic for your use. (Click it to see the full sized version)

Sysomos-Hashtag-Gridiron 2016

While Esurance’s #esurancesweepstakes hashtag took the #1 spot with almost 2 million mentions on Twitter (the #2 branded hashtag was #PepsiHalftime with 333k mentions), here are our observations looking the rest of the ad contenders:


One big winner of Sunday’s commercials was definitely Doritos. 

  • Doritos mentions (with various forms of Super Bowl AND Commercial) is correlated with terms like: “Best”, “LMAO” (laughing my as* off), and “Favorite”
    • This data shows that Twitter users really responded positively to this particular ad
  • Doritos had 318,626 hashtag mentions on Super Bowl Sunday – which was a huge day for the brand. In the entire month of January, Doritos had 275k mentions total (about 9k per day)


The US mobile carrier also had a very successful Super Bowl Sunday.

In January, the brand averaged about 12k mentions per day (Twitter). On Sunday, T-Mobile had about 127k mentions on Twitter.

  • Of these 127k T-Mobile mentions, Drake was also mentioned 19,279 times.
    • #YouGotCarriered achieved about 6,129 mentions
    • Steve Harvey was mentioned with T-Mobile 16,111 times
    • The #Ballogize Hashtag had 26,670 mentions – also a good sign that message pull through was successful
    • Drake himself got around 86,894 mentions himself when correlated with Ad, Ads, Super Bowl, Commercial, etc.
    • Steve Harvey was mentioned 86,880 times on Super Bowl Sunday
      • Obviously, both spots had tremendous engagement online
      • T–Mobile definitely had a fantastic day in terms of brand uplift.
      • However, when you add up the celebrity endorsers themselves T-Mobile’s day could have been even better
    • Interestingly enough, more users responded to the #Ballogize hashtag, meaning that viewers really enjoyed the approach to this ad. 

Bud Light

Overall Brand Mentions numbered 33,578 on Super Bowl Sunday. In January, Bud Light brand mentions (no other campaign hashtags considered) averaged about 3k per day.

  • The terms Caucus and Rudd (as in Paul Rudd) were also frequently mentioned when people mentioned this commercial spot
  • Seth Rogen had 6,827 mentions on Sunday 
  • Amy Schumer had 14,023 mentions – likely due to the Caucus joke she mentioned during the spot

Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew received 22,536 mentions during Super Bowl Sunday, but #PuppyMonkeyBaby received 234,855 mentions. While the spot generated high engagement, the brand did not receive as much of a lift as T-Mobile or Doritos

  • When examining the hashtag #PuppyMonkeyBaby, users mentioned terms like “Creepy”, “Disturbing”, and “WTF” when referencing the hashtag
  • While the spot was memorable, the question remains if this was what Mountain Dew was intentionally working toward

What was your favorite Super Bowl ad?

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